Definition of spectacle noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈspektəkl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspektəkl//
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  1. 1spectacles [plural] (formal) = glasses a pair of spectacles a spectacle case (= to put your glasses in)
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] a performance or an event that is very impressive and exciting to look at The carnival parade was a magnificent spectacle.
  3. 3[countable] a sight or view that is very impressive to look at The sunset was a stunning spectacle.
  4. 4[singular] an unusual or surprising sight or situation that attracts a lot of attention I remember the sad spectacle of her standing in her wedding dress, covered in mud.
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin spectaculum ‘public show’, from spectare, frequentative of specere ‘to look’.Extra examples I attended solely to witness the sheer spectacle of a political rally. The Olympics are a wonderful visual spectacle. the sad spectacle of him struggling to keep up with the younger players The wide plain, with thousands of wildebeest on the move, was an awesome spectacle.Idioms
    make a spectacle of yourself
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    to draw attention to yourself by behaving or dressing in a ridiculous way in public
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spectacle